Friday, February 15, 2013

Good Day Sunshine

I wasn't going to write a blog post today but Miguel has his poker buddies over and the kids are in bed so it seems like a fine time to write.  Besides, I'm almost never lacking in something to say.

I was off work today so after lounging around all morning the kids and I finally got our butts in gear to head to the park.  I packed our lunches and away we went.  The park was crowded and more than a few of my favorite mom buddies were there.  It was in the high 60's today, clear skies, no wind...nice playground weather.  The kids and I had a blast climbing on the jungle gym and playing a little informal soccer with some of the "big kids".  With weather like this it's easy to be in a good mood.

After the park I came home to put Myra down for a nap while Marek and I worked in the yard.  I changed into a tank top and shorts because I knew I'd be too hot in anything else given the 70° late afternoon sunshine.  After a couple hours of that (and near not enough, I've let the weeds get too out of control!) I'd had enough.  Just about then the neighbor girl let me know she could watch the kids so I could go to the gym.  Perfect!  But did I mention my legs and hips are SORE.  Yes, my stellar feel-good workout yesterday left me not so feel-good today.  

Ah but I didn't want to let that stop me so I got ready to go.  Just as I was leaving Michelle texts me to ask about going to the Dailey Method (TDM) for the 4:30 class.  It was about 4:10.  What to do, what to do?  My plan had been to do an easy 3 mile run and then chest/triceps/core for strength training.  But seeing Michelle is always fun and I am sore so maybe I should skip 3 miles.  So I decided to drive to TDM and go for a quick 15 minute run and then take the class. 

In the end I ran even less than 15 minutes, running 1.37 miles in 12:40 for a 9:13 pace.  I felt like a real runner as I ran back into the parking lot and past the people sitting outside at the coffee shop.  I should have yelled, "look, I'm a runner!".  Ha ha.  I even passed some Girl Scouts selling cookies.  Evil people those Girl Scouts.  Anyway, I actually wore my Garmin for this little run and I noticed my pace picked up in the very end - apparently people seeing me makes me run faster.  "Hey look, I'm a runner!"  Am I the only one laughing?  

The Dailey Method class was good.  I wasn't able to do all the leg stuff, my quads were especially not happy, but the rest was a nice change of pace.   And I didn't get any of that stinging pain in my abs despite what felt like 20 minutes of ab work so that's good. 

I almost forgot, I had weigh-in this morning.  I didn't want to go to my WW meeting with the kids so I'm planning to go tomorrow.  Anyway, my weight was 137 pounds.  Down .8 from last week.  Who can explain that?  I can't.  Maybe those bursts of calories put my metabolism into temporary overdrive and everything balanced out?  Does this mean I can go crazy on cookies and ice cream and more cookies every week?  Don't answer that.  

So food today has been pretty decent.  I had a cookie at the park and four pieces of chocolate that I didn't need after dinner but all-in-all I made good healthy choices.  After the kids were in bed I took a long, hot bath.  I needed that.  Now I'm off to put myself to bed.  Not sure what's on tap for tomorrow but with this weather it should be easy to find something fun.

I also don't know what I'm going to do on Sunday.  Maybe another bike ride.  The Echelon riders are tempting me with this:
This Sunday we are repeating our ride two weeks ago and leaving Mikes Bikes San Rafael at 11 am sharp and headed via Java Hut Fairfax over Whites Hill to Rancho Nicasio and return via Lucas Valley Road past Skywalker Ranch owned by George Lucas. It is on the left near the top before big rock. May the Force be with you!
White's hill, that'd be a first for me.  Might have to wait and see how my legs are feeling. 

Ok, that's it for me.  I'm tucking in.  Night all!

p.s.  I found out that one of my FB peeps is expecting (a baby, in case that's not clear).  I don't know if she wants me to name names so I'll just say Congratulations to you-know-who-you-are!!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Kind of Daydream

Ok, I get it.  My brooding inner 16 year old needs to give it a rest.  Done.  I'm feeling a bit more lighthearted on this day of love.  Speaking of love, I have pictures of my smallest loves to share from the park yesterday. Getting these two hoodlums to sit together is no easy task!

My silly Valentines.
Nothing like sibling love.

Seeing these pictures makes my heart smile.  Despite yesterday's post, I was actually in a good mood for most of it.  My morning at the park with the kids was fun.  I love climbing with them on the jungle gym - going down the slide, hanging on the monkey bars - those are all things I wouldn't have done in my previous life.

Then in the late afternoon, just before dinner, we went for a neighborhood walk. Actually it was mostly a run as I was either chasing, or being chased.  I noticed that every time Myra started running she'd break into squeals of laughter.  I thought to myself, "look what running does" and ran with more joy just to hear her.  The kids are good little runners.  We need to build up their endurance, it'd be fun to make it around the whole block without stopping.  Marek's got it in him, Ms Myra needs a bit more time I think.  I just had a funny thought, put my Garmin on them to see how fast they go!  Maybe I should organize a neighborhood foot race with age groups: 0-2 year olds, 3-4 years olds...ha ha.  We'd need finisher's medals and bibs...ohhhh, I'm loving this idea!

Can you feel it?  I can.  I'm coming out of this funk a little bit. I went to the gym after work with a plan to lift weights (legs/shoulders) and then take a spin class.  I was wrapping up my 3-minute warmup walk when I got a sudden urge to run - no doubt driven by all the calories over the last few days.  In any case I cranked the speed up to 7.3mph and started running.  And it felt amazing.  I felt like I could run forever, I felt strong and limitless and entirely in love with running.  I still had to do legs for weight training, not to mention a spin class ahead of me, but I just had to run.  I decided to try for a mile at that pace, an 8:13 minute mile.  And guess what?!  You know what!  I did it!!  Fastest mile ever for me.

Whew!  I felt so good as I started into my strength training routine.  Legs and shoulders but no core because I'm giving them a rest.  I did all I could before Glen's spin class started up.  The class was great, even with Glen embarrassing me a bit by telling everyone to check out my (too big to miss) ad hanging in the window.  Thanks for that one Glen!  I had to bow out of the class after 45 minutes to finish my strength training routine.  My legs were superstars.  I asked, and the answer was a wholehearted YES!  I love this body of mine.  I did some stretching and headed home.

Miguel and I had plans to go to dinner but my mom got sick so that fell through.  Things were still not bad for me because Miguel made dinner.  I had a hearty meal and then spent the next couple hours playing with the kids.  And then I had a little bit of chocolate, despite my better judgment.  But that's ok, it's a holiday after all, right?

Well, there you have it, I'm back!  I'm still fighting the food cravings and doing all I can to stay on track.  And now wondering why in the heck I let these periods indulgence, overeating, binges, whatever - why I let them get to me.  It's been years, and I've seen them come and go so why did I get so down?  Eh, it's probably all the other stress and whatnot.  Let's just hope I learn from this, and that I focus on being grateful that I'm coming out of it.

I'm off to relax and then climb in bed with a good book.  I think I'm going to give Frankl a rest and go back to Born to Run...I want to ride this wave of good feelings.  Oh, that reminds me!  I added the Dipsea as a possible 2014 race.  It's a month before the Vineman Half-Ironman so obviously I can't do both.  Vineman is probably a stretch though so maybe 2014 is my year for the Dipsea.  Never heard of the Dipsea?  Hey runner, what rock you been living under? 
First run in 1905, the Dipsea is the oldest trail race in America. It is run every year on the second Sunday in June. The scenic 7.4 mile course from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach is considered to be one of the most beautiful courses in the world. The stairs and steep trails make it a grueling and treacherous race.  Because of its beauty and challenge, it is a very popular event, and because of safety and environmental concerns the number of runners is limited to about 1,500. While racers enter from all over the world, the Dipsea is primarily a Northern California event and the entry process is tilted slightly to favor local contestants.
The Dipsea would be so. cool.  So cool.  But 2014 is still just a kind of daydream, I'll have to let it rest and simmer for a while and see what life has in store for me by then.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Food Slump (and taking my own advice)

It's official, food-wise, I'm in a slump.  My motivation to avoid eating crap is low.  I'm not eating fast food every day so it could be worse, but trust me when I tell you, it's not good either.  I mentioned in my last post taking my own advice so I decided to review that advice here as a lesson for myself.  I'm going to post the title of the 10 things I have said help me to "survive a slump" and then list how I can use that tip now.
  1. Start each day fresh no matter what.
    This is a good one.  I don't think I've been doing this.  I think I'm letting the bad feelings associated with my poor choices over the last couple of days carry forward.  I need to let that go. 
  2. Accept being less than perfect.
    Oh snap.  I am not perfect, I am not striving for perfect.  I am imperfect and still entirely acceptable and enough.  I can make mistakes, I can falter and struggle, and still be ok. 
  3. Think lifestyle changes.
    Ok, lifestyle change.  Got it.  But I'm engaging in some old-lifestyle behaviors.  So how does that fit?  I guess it means that this isn't about one meal or one afternoon eating ice cream and cookies.  It's about what I do the most of the time, that's what matters.
  4. Wait it out.
    This is me impatiently drumming my fingers on the desk.  I don't want to wait, I want my motivation to come back right now.  Can you hear the whine coming through your computer?  I mean come one, it's been 3 days already!  Ha! This could last weeks, possibly longer.  I'd better sit tight and find some patience. Truth is, I've been riding such a wave of motivation for months now, if not the past year, that I've forgotten what this feels like.  My WW peeps told me getting close to goal would motivate me, and they were right.  But reaching goal does not make everything magically easy. 
  5. Remember where I came from.
    I used to carry an additional 90+ pounds with me everywhere I went.  I am fit and have a body I can feel good about.  I have come so far.  Just because eating crap makes me feel like all is lost, I know that's old black/white, on/off thinking.  That's not me anymore.
  6. Change things up. 
    Hmmm...not sure what I can do here.  Wait, I have a trainer session I need to use.  I think I'll schedule that for some new inspiration.  Ok, I just emailed Ian to schedule something.
  7. Use support.
    I need to be going to my WW meeting every week.  How else can I get more support?  I just posted on the WW forums asking for support.  Maybe I can set up a brown bag lunch date with a fitness buddy who can help inspire me.  Any takers?  Email me.
  8. Routine, routine, routine: 
    Well, well, well.  Don't I just know everything?  Yes, routine.  I've been missing my snack routine something awful lately.  I let myself get too hungry.  I've also let go of my routine of avoiding junk/resisting cravings/etc.  I remember reading long ago that cravings are like waves, they build, build, build and then crash on the shore.  Beck says if you give in, you're weakening your resistance muscle, which is what I've been doing.  I've gotten lazy in that department.  I think I'm using a lot of my mental energy on other things and so when it comes to resisting cravings, I'm feeling too weak.  I will get more vigilant about packing snacks and pay more attention to how I'm using my mental energy so I can have some when I need it.  I think I'll take a hot bath tonight.
  9. Go to the gym and do nothing
    Fortunately this seems to be a food-only slump so far.  But I know that can change.  I've had to do a little more pushing than normal to get myself to the gym but nothing extreme.  I'm just going to be happy that this part seems to be going strong and not question it.
  10. Compliment yourself. 
    Let's see.  I had a healthy lunch today that included green beans.  Healthy breakfast too.  In fact, most of my meals have been just fine so that's good.  When I fell into a grocery bag of junk food this afternoon I did take some steps to limit the damage.  Part of me is hoping that by allowing myself to buy and eat whatever I wanted, I would get whatever this is out of my system.  I don't know yet if it's worked but if not, I don't want to let it keep going unchecked.  Bottom line, it does not feel good to eat like this.  I know that.  Ok, this is about complimenting myself...what else?  I'm getting my workouts in.  I'm making home cooked meals.  I'm aware of my behavior and clearly motivated to change it (if not, what the hell is this post about anyway?).  Hang in there!  You can do it!  That's what I wrote to wrap up my slump advice.  Ok, hanging in, I can do it :)
So while I was writing this post the fabulous peeps on the WW message board responded to my call for support.  Isn't that amazing?  I got some great advice, including to meal plan for the next three days so I KNOW what I'm eating.  And to check in on the maintenance message boards, so I just bookmarked that to check later today and/or tomorrow.  Whew, I'm feeling hopeful that I can manage this little slump I seem to be in.  I know my motivation will come back, it always does.  Every. single. time.   Hang in there!  You can do it!

I said this post would include a picture.  I took some of the kids today at the park but I haven't uploaded them yet.  So I'll include one of yours truly for now.  I think I'm officially losing my marbles because I feel like my face looks plumpish in that picture.  Ack!  I'm just asking for it with that comment but it's the truth.  I know, I know.  I'm off to look at some before pictures to hopefully gain a bit of sanity here. 

As always, thanks for the support. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Lovely Jaunt

Everything is wonderful and life is perfect now that I'm thin. 

Wouldn't that be nice?  Just doesn't work that way.  Your comments on yesterday's post gave me a lot to consider.  I think I need to just accept that these binges will happen from time to time and get over it.  And that would be fine except I end up feeling so crappy.  Maybe if I just accepted them I could skip the crappy part.  Anyway, enough of that, I refuse to write another downer post. 

Today was better.  I had my normal Kashi GoLean breakfast, a nice snack, and a healthy lunch.  I attended a meeting in the afternoon and there was cake.  I can't turn down cake.  I might have even had two slices.  Ah well, no judgments today.  I'll just keep an eye on myself with all this eating and see how it goes.  Ya know, this is the first time in my journey that I've faced a really stressful time.  It was stressful to transition to motherhood, and then to two children, but I wasn't trying to eat a healthy diet or maintain a workout routine then.  Anyway, I need to take my own advice, be gentle with myself, and positively reinforce all the things I do right. 

On that note, I went to the gym after work and rode the upright bike for 25 minutes.  My legs are still recovering.  Next time I run a half-marathon I mustn't get sick the week before and I'll also get back to the weight-lifting routine asap.  I hate losing strength and having to rebuild.  A little soreness is fun but this is dragging on too long for my liking.  The soreness didn't slow me down any though, which is good.  After the bike I did back/biceps/core for strength training.  I'm back down to three pullups, but I'm sure it won't take long before I'm back up to four. 

What's really hurting are my abs.  I was doing some ball exchanges (like with the Swiss ball but I use a 6# medicine ball instead) and my lower abs felt like they were stinging.  Ok, that's it.  There's a difference between soreness and pain and my abs clearly need some rest.  I turned the page in my workout log and where I normally note my ab workout I made a big note, "NO ABS TODAY."  Hopefully that will force my rigid self to give it a rest on Thursday (my next workout). 

I came home and made hamburgers, well, turkey/bacon/avocado burgers, for dinner.  That with sweet potato fries and green beans to round things out.  I've been doing some unnecessary snacking since dinner but like I said, I'm going to go easy on myself, see how things develop.  I'm reading Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning. If you want to avoid a pity party, read a book chronicling a concentration camp experience.  Seriously, it's a wake up call.  But the bigger message is Frankl's belief that it is the meaning we find in our lives, our purpose for living, that defines and drives us.

What is the meaning of my life?  What is my purpose for living?  Those are big questions.  Asking them has a way of re-framing things.  Good stuff.  I'm still not done with Born to Run but I'll get back to it soon enough.  Frankl's book has been on my list forever and I think now is just the right time to be reading it.

One last thing...the Emerald Across the Bay 12k is only about 5 weeks away.  I'm tempted to not "train" for it at all, it's only around 7.5 miles.  But I figure I'd better do a few short long runs (does that make any sense?) between now and then.  So if I start running 5 miles on the weekends and then go up to 6 and then 7 in the two weeks before I should be good.  Oh boy, those distances sound lovely.  I think I'm just going to view this race as a lovely jaunt.  No time goals, no pressure, just run for the pure enjoyment of it.  Sounds good doesn't it?  We'll see if I can actually do it. 

Striving To Be

Thank goodness today is a new day because yesterday...well, yesterday sucked.  It started out good, I was in a fair mood as the morning rolled along.  I finished up an appointment out in the field and was hungry for a snack but hadn't packed one.  That's when things started to go downhill.  I bought a bag of Fritos at a convenience store.  I noted there were 4.5 servings in the bag and I was nervous I'd eat the whole bag so I offered some to the young vagabond sitting on the curb outside.  After sharing half the bag with him I felt a little safer with closer to 2 servings of Fritos.

But those chips got the ball rolling and like I said, all downhill from there.  I got back to my office and the munchy feelings remained.  I opened a box of Girl Scout cookies that had been in my office for possibly as long as a year.  No, they were not thin mints (I'd probably feel better if they were), they were lemon, Savannah Smiles.  Don't get me started on the name.

I started eating them while doing some data entry and next thing you know, there were only two left in the box.  Yep, I ate ALL of them.  I felt a little disgusted with myself.  I ate the second-to-last one and then refused to eat that last. damn. cookie.  I threw the box away and went to the cafeteria for lunch.  Of course I wasn't hungry after all those cookies but I ate anyway, feeling a mixture of anger and sadness (which I think are the same emotions really).  My mood only worsened as the day went on.  I started to hope there was a hormonal explanation for both my feelings and my eating but so far, no indication of that.

To make matters worse I didn't feel like going to the gym.  But I knew, I KNEW, that was my only hope for a better mood.  I walked in the door and there was Glen.  The health gods were smiling on me to put him in my path.  He understands all this food-junkie insanity and he asked if I knew why I did it, "Yeah, I know."  Good enough, carry on.  I changed into my workout clothes and noted my sore legs and back.  But I didn't care how my body felt, I knew I needed to run.  I got on the treadmill and started out at 6.3mph.  I'll spare you all the details and just say I forced myself to run 7.3mph intervals despite how my legs felt, and I managed to do all but one.  By the time the last interval rolled around my legs were on the verge of collapse.  Know your limits, this isn't punishment, you want to be able to walk tomorrow, were all things I told myself.  

I wish I could tell you the running fixed everything but I was still feeling crappy when I started in on my strength training, chest/triceps/core.  I wasn't sure I would be able to do 20/15/12 reps of pushups in three sets respectively but I did.  As I moved through my routine I started to feel a little relief, the anger subsided some.  At one point I set some dumbbells down with a little more force than was necessary and something about that act helped.  Maybe what I really needed was a punching bag.  I did my stretching/cooldown.  As I was leaving, Glen asked if I was feeling better, "a bit less self-loathing anyway."  Oh the drama.  How can you stand it? 

I also wish I could tell you that I ate clean the remainder of the day to offset the high calories but that was not to be.  After dinner (a bowl of Kashi GoLean and a few bites of pasta) I went grocery shopping and - the wheels on the bus go round and round (or they just fall the hell off) - I picked up a dark chocolate/caramel/sea salt bar.  I ate three squares of it (a bit less than half) and threw the rest away.  Must I write this all down?  Can't I just pretend I'm not this out of control?  Then I wanted something salty.  So I picked up a bag of Fit Popcorn to take home, thinking that would be a decent thing to munch on while Miguel and I watched another episode of Game of Thrones after the kids were in bed.  Fortunately he ate half the bag.  And Game of Thrones is gooooood.

Well, there you have it.  I've laid it all out - my imperfection, my neurosis - and despite having kept this blog for going on six years now, it's still embarrassing.  When will I be perfect?  Or maybe the better question to ask is, when will being imperfect be ok?  Glen pointed out that the whole box of cookies was 700 calories and that in the big picture, 700 calories won't make or break me.  And then there are the Fritos, and chocolate, and popcorn...but whatever, one day, no matter how much I eat, won't break me.  It's my response to it, my feelings about it, my judgment of it - that's the damage.

As I was driving home Joss Stone's Right to be Wrong came on.
I've got a right to be wrong
My mistakes will make me strong ...
I've got a mind of my own
I'm flesh and blood to the bone
I'm not made of stone

That's when I realized I'd been feeling this irrational rebellion.  Against who?  What?  As if anyone else gives a crap what I eat.  But I know it's not about food.  It never is, right?  The food is just a way to avoid, distract...nothing to see here, I'm fine.  So today I will aim to sit with my feelings.  I feel better than yesterday, owing to the fact that it's a new day and a new opportunity to live my truth. Today I will strive to be.  Just be. 

p.s.  I forgot to pack a snack again today.  I'm going to buy an apple and have that and a string cheese with my vitamins and water.  Later I'm going to the gym to ride the bike and lift more weights (back/biceps/core).  Just the thought of following my routine makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Mountain Biking (and walking downhill) @ China Camp State Park

I've been thanking my readers a lot lately but perhaps never have I felt so grateful than for the supportive comments on my last post.  It was difficult to share what's been going on here on the home front.  And this is an issue with no quick fix, no perfectly written Hollywood ending.  It's a lot more fun to write about my fitness challenges and triumphs.  Which is mostly what I'll be doing since I'm not turning my blog into an analysis of the trials of marriage, thank goodness.  Anyway, I wanted to thank you for the support, advice, feedback through comments here, on Facebook and for the messages you've sent me.  I know people get something out of my blog but I get so much more. 

Moving right along...yesterday (Saturday) was a rest day from exercise.  I got to sleep in since I woke up alone at our friend's house.  I came home in time to take the kids to a birthday party for one of Marek's friends, Kellan.  I can't believe he and his buddies are all turning 4.  I guess there's a reason people with grown kids will longingly say, "Enjoy it, it goes by so fast."  We're planning a small party for Marek in March. He's very aware of his birthday this year and keeps threatening to not invite us when we disappoint him.  I remind him I'll be bringing the cake and that usually settles it.

Anyway, I was pretty hungry when I got to Kellan's party and felt like I spent the whole time eating.  Pizza, party snacks, cupcakes.  There came a time when I was feeling pretty full but I kept right on eating.  I was aware that I was full, aware that I shouldn't really be eating anymore, but that didn't stop me.  What can I say?  I'm not always going to make the best choice.  I was in a somewhat melancholy mood and I think it lessened my motivation to eat right.  By the time we left my head had started hurting too.  Ugh, a headache.  I assumed it was stress related but around 3pm I realized, I never drank my morning coffee.  Duh!  Dinner was leftover meat loaf, red potatoes and broccoli.  And a cup of hot chocolate later. And let me not forget the chocolate chips I kept getting into (they are all gone now, which is a good thing).  My carb/sugar mission still seems to be going strong.

Today, Sunday, I took the kids to the park for a playdate with some of their preschool buddies.  My legs and back were so sore from my workouts on Thursday and Friday that I was practically limping.  That's what happens when you don't lift weights for practically two weeks.  But I managed to survive the park.  For the afternoon Miguel and I had secured someone to watch the kids so we could take our planned mountain bike ride.

It was a gorgeous day and I was so looking forward to getting on my mountain bike for the first time in I-don't-know-how-long.  Then as we were loading up our bikes Miguel tells me he's got "a little challenge" for me.  I've heard plenty about him and his buddies' epic mountain bike rides so I'll admit I was a bit scared.  But I figured what's the worst that can happen?  It wouldn't be the first time I walked my mountain bike up some too-steep climbs.  Good thing I'd taken a couple ibuprofen to ease my sore muscles.

We get out to China Camp and almost immediately we're riding uphill.

Me:  "This isn't so bad."
Him:  "Not at first, but talk to me after 30 minutes."

Eek!  But you know what?  It wasn't so bad.  I had to work, and I was pretty darn slow, but I felt plenty capable the whole time.  Of course this was nowhere near the crazy rides Miguel does with his friends, but the only times I had to put my feet down were navigating some tight corners with a lot of rocks.  The fact that I'm out of practice on the mountain bike was glaringly obvious.  I felt really shaky at first, but found my balance before too long.  That said, I actually screamed with fear going over a few very rocky, rooty, rut-worn spots.  Thank goodness I never took a dive.  We reached a fork in the road and Miguel said we could go left and head down to the car, or go right for a little more climbing and, "a beautiful view."  

You know which way we went.  More climbing, but still not too steep for me to handle.  Just before the peak we turned onto a paved road that quickly became ridiculously steep, and this was after riding uphill for 30+ minutes.  I managed the hill fine until the pavement turned into gravel and then I was done.  I had to walk my bike up the last few hundred feet.  And then we reached the top.  He wasn't lying, the view was nearly 360° and included the bay, mountains and plenty of green.  Of course I had to have a picture snapped. 

China Camp
I was feeling pretty happy with myself as we took in the surrounds.  Here's a satellite image of our route, which gives you an idea of the view.

And then we headed down the mountain.  It wasn't long before fear had me off my bike and walking.  And there I'd been worried about the uphill.  Ever since I rode up Marshall Wall I've been nervous about going downhill.  Today I couldn't seem to go slow enough on the steep parts (that's "steep" by my definition).  Between my hand getting sore holding the brake, and the rocky, stumpy, rut-worn parts of the trail - well, I had to get off my bike and walk it a few times.  When I almost tripped and fell while walking I knew I was doing the right thing.  Know your limits.  

Miguel found it to be quite entertaining that I was walking downhill so he snapped a picture.

How come hills never look as steep in pictures as they did in real life?  The good thing is I only had to do this a few times and I completely enjoyed the rest of the ride.  Toward the end I started feeling a bit more confident and picked up a tiny bit of speed, but still going pretty slow.  My average moving speed over the whole ride was only 5mph!  I can run faster than that.  But not with this elevation profile I can't.

China Camp Loop Elevation Profile
How cool is that? Full Garmin stats here for anyone that's interested.  Well, that's it.  Shared an energy bar on the way home and probably didn't drink enough water today.  For dinner I made an Italian chicken recipe with red bell peppers and onions.  I had part of a breast with rice and broccoli.  As soon as I'm done here I'm going to make a cup of hot chocolate and we're going to watch Episodes 2 & 3 of Game of Thrones.  And there you have it, a busy weekend with probably too much food and a nice bit of the outdoors.  As far as calories, I'm not going to worry about it, I have the work week to balance things out.  Hope you had a chance to get outdoors this weekend too!  Unless you live in blizzard country, in which case I hope you stayed bundled up by a warm fire.  Oooh, that sounds lovely too.